HRC50 – Item 2: ID on HC annual report – 14 June 2022 – Statement by Estonia

Distinguished High Commissioner,

Mr President,

Estonia fully aligns with the statement delivered by the European Union.

We highly appreciate the attention of the High Commissioner on the most acute human rights crises in the world. In many countries which will be addressed during this session, the human rights situation has deteriorated further – in Afghanistan, Belarus, Eritrea, Myanmar, Syria – just to name some.

Our primary focus in defending human rights must be on those who are the most vulnerable. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has caused profound and lasting damage to the children.

In the war initiated by Russia, nearly 300 Ukrainian children have been killed and more than 500 injured. This is only officially confirmed data. The actual numbers are likely to be even higher and more terrifying. The fate of many Ukrainian children is unknown.

According to open sources, since the beginning of the full-scale war roughly 250 000 children have forcibly deported to Russia, Belarus, or to the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas.

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the forced deportation of unaccompanied children to the Russian Federation by the Russian authorities and their local collaborators, as well as their illegal adoption. These actions grossly violate international law and undermine international human rights principles.

Madame High Commissioner,

What steps should international human rights organisations take to compel Russia to immediately stop the deportation of children from Ukrainian territory?

Thank you!